Major Changes in Business Licensing Procedures in Afghanistan

As of September 26, 2016, the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) has merged with the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. This is a significant development for established businesses and persons wishing to register to do business in Afghanistan.

Most businesses are familiar with the investment license, commonly referred to as an “AISA license,” which is required for all companies doing business in Afghanistan. Previously, at the same time a company registered with AISA, the Central Business Registry also issued a business registration certificate. Under the new scheme, CBR certificates are discontinued and a single business license will be issued. Welcome news for companies is that new (or renewed) business licenses will be valid for three years.

The former AISA is now operating out of the General Directorate of Central Business Registry and Intellectual Property in Kabul. The Ministry of Commerce is expected to institute changes to procedures and fee schedules as the two units continue the integration process. One immediate change is that all application documents, including powers of attorney and board resolutions, must be translated in Dari or Pashto. For license renewals, the president and vice president are no longer required to appear in person; the renewal process can be delegated to a company representative through a letter.

The new authority will also assist international companies with the visa process by sending requests to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue visa invitations. Kakar Advocates is closely monitoring developments at the new Central Business Registry.